More public funding for solar R&D


Arena CEO Darren Miller

Arena’s latest $ 40 million R&D funding round is intended to support projects that align with the agency’s Solar 30 30 30 target of 30% module efficiency and 30 cents per watt installed at utility scale by 2030.

Funding is offered in two streams: one for cells and modules, the other for any other aspect that may reduce the initial and ongoing costs of large-scale solar PV.

The current plan is to divide the funds equally between the two streams.

The Australian government is prioritizing ultra-low cost solar power, with an ambitious target of $ 15 per megawatt hour, which is about a third of the current cost.

Ultra low cost solar power is seen as a key factor in producing low cost green hydrogen and will also help in the manufacture of green steel and aluminum.

“Australian solar researchers have ruled the world for decades. Thirty years ago, UNSW researchers invented the PERC silicon solar cell, a technology that today forms the basis of more than 80% of solar panels in the world, ”said Arena CEO Darren Miller.

“This $ 40 million round of R&D funding will help Australian researchers and the solar industry to support the Solar 30 30 30 goal and spur innovation that will deliver solar power at very low cost,” a- he declared.

“Ultra-low cost solar power will be a critical component in helping Australia move towards a low-cost, largely renewable electricity system and meet the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”

Expressions of interest for the funding round opened in February 2022 and applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. AEST on April 11, 2022.

More information is available here.

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